As a sluggish start to 2019 surprisingly continued with the weaker-than-expected debut from The LEGO Movie 2 last weekend, the industry’s attention now turns to the double holiday boost of Valentine’s Day (Thursday) and Presidents Day (Monday) in hope of turning things around.
The good news for LEGO Movie 2 is that with schools out of session for the coming Monday holiday, its second weekend should generate a strong hold — particularly given its positive reviews and word of mouth thus far.
Happy Death Day 2U
Opening Weekend Range: $25M+ (6-Day through Monday)
- The first film was another sleeper hit for Blumhouse in October 2017, earning $26 million in its first weekend onward to $55.7 million domestically.
- With another PG-13 rating for the sequel, and the amped up humor displayed in marketing, teen appeal should again be strong — especially for date night audiences on Valentine’s Day.
- The film’s positive 66 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes (as of publishing) is comparable to its predecessor’s 71 percent score.
- As the horror genre has proven to be driven slightly more by women, the date night option in Isn’t It Romantic and two of its Pitch Perfect co-stars could steal a portion of this sequel’s young adult audience. (The first Death Day‘s opening weekend was comprised of 54 percent women and 63 percent under the age of 25.)
Isn’t It Romantic
Opening Weekend Range: $20M+ (6-Day through Monday)
- Rebel Wilson’s presence could be notable here thanks to her popularity in the Pitch Perfect franchise, which similarly targeted young women as its primary audience.
- The obvious benefit of opening one day before Valentine’s significantly increases the odds of a strong Thursday-Friday turnout, and the film’s 64 percent Rotten Tomatoes score indicates some potential for positive word of mouth.
- Social media activity has been very encouraging.
- Competing with Happy Death Day 2U‘s similarly female-driven audience may be a factor.
Alita: Battle Angel
Opening Weekend Range: $22M+ (5-Day through Monday)
- Fans of the manga graphic novel series have anticipated a big-budget film taking on the property for years, and the presence of James Cameron in a producing role has increased its exposure.
- The lack of male-driven titles performing well in the market right now could open a window for this to slightly over-perform this weekend.
- Social media growth has been strong across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
- Early reviews are middling for a genre that is more sensitive to them than others, registering at 59 percent on Rotten Tomatoes this morning.
- Comparable films like Ghost In the Shell and Valerian recently struggled to break out at the box office, suggesting their pre-release tracking and social media footprints were largely driven by niche fan bases. Despite Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez’s profiles, the general concern is for a similar outcome here.
- The film’s $170 million production budget will add pressure to the importance of overseas earnings if domestic results are on par with lukewarm expectations.
Top 10 vs. Last Year
Boxoffice projects this three-day weekend’s top ten films will earn $104 million or more. That would approximately represent a 61 percent decline from the same weekend last year, when Black Panther debuted to an expectation-shattering $202 million (a pre-summer record and the fifth highest ever at the time) as part of an overall $267.4 million top ten frame ahead of Presidents Day on Monday.
|Film||Distributor||3-Day Weekend Forecast||Projected Domestic Total through Sunday, February 17||% Change from Last Wknd|
|The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part||Warner Bros.||$22,500,000||$65,000,000||-34%|
|Happy Death Day 2U||Universal||$18,000,000||$26,800,000||NEW|
|Alita: Battle Angel||Fox||$16,700,000||$23,700,000||NEW|
|Isn’t It Romantic||Warner Bros. / New Line||$15,000,000||$20,900,000||NEW|
|What Men Want||Paramount||$10,700,000||$35,000,000||-41%|
|Cold Pursuit||Lionsgate / Summit||$6,900,000||$21,800,000||-37%|
|Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||Sony / Columbia||$2,200,000||$182,700,000||-27%|
Alex Edghill contributed to this report
Forecasts subject to change as location counts are finalized before Friday.
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